Swiss Army First Aid Box
The Swiss Army make the best of everything and this aluminum box is perfect for all of the little bits I travel with. It has all of things in it I need; ink, paracetamol, elastic bands, cable ties. The other day someone asked what the Swiss Army actually do. Simple, they make amazing stuff. These are now sold out and no more are being made but they were available at pedlars.co.uk
French Workwear Jacket
My favourite type of jacket; I have loads. I love this one on thick cotton; it’s shredded at the bottom hem and all the better for it. I think these jackets are the antithesis of designer clothing. They’re made in France, built to last through thick and thin and without any unnecessary embellishments. Available from good agricultural supply stores across France.
Orange Mont Blanc Biro
This was a limited edition for Mont Blanc and as I love the colour orange my wife gave it to me for Christmas. Very much against form I haven’t lost it yet. It’s now sold out but originally came from mrporter.com
This is a bit of a second rate hatchet and only cost 20 Euros. But it’s heavy, well-balanced and sharp. I love axes and collect them. I painted the handle bright orange so I wouldn’t lose it quite as easily as I would otherwise. Axes are the oldest tool known to mankind and our relationship with them is powerful. Everyone should own an axe - you feel better when you have one.
One-Off Flag by Best Made Co
Best Made Co are the most exciting retail company in America. Period. From their base in New York City they create products that are perfectly-made. I helped them to film a project at our house in Scotland and they gave me this. I am travelling with it because it makes me feel happy. I hung in my bedroom yesterday but my wife didn’t like it where it was, so here it is.
Online Here: bestmadeco.com
Tiny Opinel Penknife
The original French penknife and still the best; purchased by generations of British school children on their holidays in France and still available at every market and hardware store there. Opinel have branched out massively in the last decade making all sorts of kitchenware and they always get it right.
Online Here: opinel.fr
This is a nothing camera, but it works and the best thing is that it cost me 1 Euro at a brocante (a French flea market). I love digital cameras but very little beats film and I take 35 mm pictures as often as I can.
Enamel Everyday Mug
I designed this mug for my business Pedlars and had it made in Poland where they make possibly the best enamelware in the world. This mug is heavy and strong and the colours of the enamel are perfect.
Online Here: pedlars.co.uk
I’m not a massive fan of beer. But I am in France and there is little better than popping the lid of one of these at the end of a day in the sun. The perfect beer. No competition.
It sounds a bit weird, but I love collecting small toys and I bought 14 of these at a brocante in France on Sunday. I love them because they were made in France and the colours are great. They’ve sat in their box since the ‘70s.
Ramones. Road to Ruin
Again, I bought this in a brocante on Sunday. I had the original. I loved the Ramones and saw them six or seven times. The first of these was when I was 17 and on a road trip in the US when I had left school. I went to see them by myself in San Francisco - they were supported by The Stranglers - and they blew my mind. Another time I went to see them at the Hammersmith Palais and something (not a person) bit me so badly on my ankles that they swelled enough for me to see the St John’s Ambulance people. And once I took my brother who was 12 and he lost both of his school shoes. I don’t think our parents were pleased.
& Sons. David Gilbert
I’ve just finished this. I love a big, sprawling modern American epic and this is right up there with Jonathan Franzen. It was published last year and I’m not sure how well it did.
Observer’s Book of Motorcycles
I love The Observer’s series of books and I love bikes, though I haven’t had one for a long time. But I’m still allowed to look at them, aren’t I?
All of the above on a Swiss Army Groundsheet. The other side of this is camo -I think the Swiss Army have the best camo in the world- and I always have one with me because they make the best picnic blankets or canopies against the sun.